DNR will begin burns on public lands

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Staff | April 1, 2014

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be conducting burns on public lands in southern Wisconsin this spring.

In Walworth County, scheduled burns will be located at State Natural Areas in the Kettle Moraine Oak Opening, Young Prairie, Messinger Dry Prairie & Savanna Preserve, Bluff Creek, Clover Valley Fen,  and Lulu Lake. Also included will be State Wildlife Areas in the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, Turtle Creek, Turtle Valley, Bloomfield, the Ivanhoe Statewide Habitat, Lyons, Clover Valley,  Troy, and Sharon Scattered Wetlands.

All planned burns are weather dependent. Crews may or may not complete all planned burns in a season.

Controlled or prescribed burning is an ecological and economical method of limiting exotic and unwanted brush invasions that crowd out native vegetation and also:

• Stimulates prairie grass growth and improves habitat for upland game and waterfowl;
• creates pockets of open water for waterfowl amidst cattails proliferating in low areas;
• improves habitat for upland nesting birds, such as pheasants, and spurs native vegetative growth favored by songbirds; and
• helps preserve woodlands,  grasslands and native plant species that were sustained by natural fires prior to intensive European settlement.

DNR biologists will start their spring burning schedule as weather permits. Typically, the spring burning season begins in April and extends into mid-May but local weather conditions can lead to an earlier start or a later finish to burning efforts. Burns not completed this spring may be done next fall or winter.

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